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Football player Atsu’s partner calls for his rescue after Türkiye quakes

Claire Rupio, partner of football player Christian Atsu who remains missing after two devastating earthquakes struck Türkiye and Syria on Monday, has called for equipment to be sent to the collapsed building where the Hatayspor winger was living.

Atsu, was reported to have been rescued from the rubble with injuries and transported to hospital after the quakes. However, Hatayspor director Volkan Demirel told the Reuters news agency on Wednesday the Ghanaian player was still missing.

“The club was confirming that they had found him and that he was alive and had taken him to hospital, and 11 hours later my children had to hear on the radio that they still didn’t know where he was,” Rupio told BBC News on Friday.

“I still pray and believe he is alive.”

“I appeal to the Hatayspor club, the Turkish authorities and the British government to send the necessary equipment to get people out of the rubble, especially my partner and father of my children,” she added.

Rupio, who lives in Newcastle, England, where Atsu once played, confirmed that Nana Sechere, the player’s agent, is now in Türkiye trying to reach the building in Hatay that Atsu is inside.

“The situation remains the same, Christian Atsu has still not been found. Unless I see Christian, or speak to him, I have no further updates,” Sechere posted on social media on Thursday.

Atsu, 31, joined Hatayspor in September of last year after nearly a decade at English clubs Chelsea and Newcastle United.

The Premier League said on Friday it will be donating $1.20 million in response to the devastating earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria.

Players and officials will wear black armbands for this weekend’s round of Premier League fixtures.

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